In Wickwood's Kitchen ...
Toast The Holidays with this crimson drink.
So simple and festive. Serves 8
1 cup 100% pomegranate juice or
cranberry juice, chilled
1 750 ml (about 3 cups) dry white
24 whole cranberries
Ice cubes and a dash of club soda
1. Add 2 tablespoons
pomegranate juice to 8 balloon wine glasses or small tumblers. Pour wine
into each glass. Garnish each with 3 cranberries.
Note: For sparkling
spritzers, substitute chilled champagne for the dry white wine. For a
non-alcoholic version, substitute ginger ale or sparkling water.
Always the first to disappear at hors d’oeuvres time, these are
embarrassingly simple to make. Classic, but too often forgotten, in the
quest for the trendy. Please read the method first, so you know
Best quality thin sliced bacon
Dried and pitted figs
Dried and pitted prunes
Pitted green olives
Shrimp and/or scallops, cleaned
Chicken livers, trimmed and
Water chestnuts, drained and
¼ cup Soy sauce
2 tablespoons Light brown sugar
1. Cut bacon lengthwise.
Stuff each date, fig, prune or apricot with half a large green olive, or
a whole small one. Wrap with a strip of bacon and secure with a wooden
2. Cut shrimp and scallops to bite sized pieces, wrap with bacon strip,
secure with toothpick.
3. Cut chicken livers into ½ inch pieces. Place soy sauce and sugar in a
small bowl and marinate livers in it for an hour. Wrap a piece of liver
and one of water chestnuts with a piece of bacon, secure with a
4. Broil Bacon Wrap-Arounds on rack of broiler, 2 inches from heat,
turning once until bacon is crisp, 5-6 minutes. Cut into to see that
livers and shrimp are cooked. Serve and watch disappear quickly.
We look for reasons to serve smoked salmon in as many ways as we can
think of during The Holidays. This tapenade just gives it a pizzaz that
dazzles. We spread warm crostini with cream cheese, top with the
Artichoke Tapenade and then a sliver of smoked salmon setoff with a
sprig of dill. Make plenty. Tapenade yield: 1
2 cloves garlic, peeled and
1 cup green olives, pitted
1 tablespoon capers
1 jar (12 ounces) marinated
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
sea salt to taste
1. Place all of the
ingredients, except the salt, in a food processor or blender and puree
until smooth. Add salt to taste.
THE VERY FABULOUS VIDALIA DIP
This is surprisingly good for something so simple!
2 cups Vidalia Onions
1 cup Parmesan Cheese (yes, the
stuff in the green container, can't believe it)
1 cup Swiss or Mozzarella
1½ cups Mayonnaise (Hellman's)
1. Mix all ingredients together in 8x8 baking dish. Bake at 350° F for
20 minutes. Serve with crackers or crostini.
“There is only one fruitcake in the world, and it
keeps getting sent on from year to year.” --- Calvin Trillin
SHRIMP & CRAB ATOP CROSTINI
A year-round favorite at Wickwood, especially festive
during the Holidays. Made with two favorites from the sea, the trick is
a very gentle touch to coax the flavor from the seafood and retain it’s
fresh flavor. Raves will be yours. Yield 64.
¾ pound unsalted butter (3
1 pound cooked, cleaned and
peeled shrimp, best quality. (26-30 per pound, tails removed),
1 pound cooked crab meat. Best
1/8 to ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
10 cloves garlic, coarsely
chopped (3 tablespoons)
24 scallions, green part only,
chopped (2 cups)
64 slices of French/Italian
1. In a medium (10”) non-stick
skillet, melt 1 stick butter until just melted and still bubbling, over
medium heat. Add shrimp and cook for 2 minutes over medium heat. With a
slotted spoon, remove the shrimp pieces and place in a medium sized
bowl. (Use the butter for another appropriate purpose)
2. Melt the second stick of butter, again until just melted, add the
crab meat and cayenne and heat for 1/1/2 minutes to coat crab with
butter. Add to shrimp.
3. Melt the third stick of butter and add the garlic and green onions.
Cook for 2 minutes to take away the “raw” taste, only. Add to shrimp and
crab and mix gently.
4. Serve warm atop toasted crostini as a first course, or as finger
food. Garnish with chopped chives, if desired. If not serving
immediately, refrigerate and gently heat before serving, very quickly in
a large sauté pan over medium high heat. You are just taking the chill
off the seafood, not cooking further.
Note: We also love this
as a pasta sauce with slivered arugula added.
PASTA WITH BACON, SWEET PEAS
We’re quite taken with Benton’s Smoky Mountain Bacon from Madisonville,
Tennessee and absolutely love the magic it lends. This can serve as a quick Holiday dinner for your family or is
festive enough for guests. When there are so few ingredients, the
quality of each is very important. Serves 4-6.
½ pound best quality bacon or
specks, cut into ½ inch slices
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black
2 cups shelled fresh or frozen
2 cups heavy cream, best quality
1 pound good-quality spaghetti
(dry or fresh)
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1. In a medium sized
skillet, fry the bacon until crispy. Drain the bacon and reserve the fat
for another purpose. Return the bacon to the pan. Add the peas and cook
for 2 minutes. Add the cream and pepper and bring to a boil. Lower the
heat to medium and reduce the cream by half, about 10-12 minutes.
2. Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water (using the kosher salt)
to a boil. Add the spaghetti to the boiling water and cook according to
package directions. Just before the pasta is al dente, remove ½ cup
pasta water. Drain the pasta, return it to it’s pan, and add the sauce,
plus 1/4 cup of pasta water. Stir to thoroughly coat the pasta with the
sauce, cooking for 2 minutes more. Add remaining water, if necessary.
3. Serve immediately passing the Parmgiano and additional freshly ground
FESTIVE PANNA COTTA
We have loved Panna Cotta (Italian for cold cream) during
the Holidays for
many years and think that it’s the perfect light dessert to serve. And
in Summer, it’s heavenly. Great with mixed berries atop, perhaps with a
little Grand Marnier, or with a drizzle of the darkest of Fudge Sauces. Devastatingly delicious! We’ve even made it with half
heavy cream and half coconut milk topping it off with toasted coconut.
You’ll adore having this in your repertoire.
4 cups heavy cream
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or ●
1 vanilla bean, split)
2 packets gelatin( about 4 ½ teaspoons)
6 tablespoons cold water
1. Heat the heavy cream and sugar in a
heavy saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add the
vanilla extract (or if using a bean, scrape the seeds into the pot , add
the pod and infuse for 30 minutes. Remove pod and re-warm cream
2. Lightly oil eight custard cups with canola or grape seed oil
3. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a medium sized bowl and
let stand 5-10 minutes.
4. Pour the very warm cream over the gelatin and stir until the gelatin
5. Divide the Panna Cotta into the cups and chill until firm, at least 4
6. Run a sharp knife around the edge of each Panna Cotta and invert onto
a serving plate.Enjoy cool and simple or top with mixed berries, shaved
dark chocolate, maple syrup, a drizzle of honey, warm sautéed apples,
Kaluha, Calvados, Grand Marnier, etc.
We love getting everyone into the act to cook at
Christmastime. These are great fun to make as you all work together
trimming the tree, secretly wrapping gifts, yet taking breaks together,
or checking off the Christmas card list. They’re casual, yet most
delicious!! Serves 6.
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg
½ cup plus
1 tablespoon whole milk
3 large Honey Crisp, Gala, or
Canola oil for deep-frying
Powdered sugar for dusting
1. Whisk together the flour, sugar,
baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Lightly beat the egg
and milk in a small bowl. Whisk into the flour until combined.. This
batter can be made and refrigerated for up to three hours.
2. Peel and core the apples. Cut them into 2-inch long, ½ inch
matchsticks. Fold into the batter.
3. Heat 1½ inches of oil to 325° F in a wide deep pot. Set a cooling
rack over a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Using two forks, lift
up 5 or 6 of the matchsticks from the batter, allowing excess batter to
drip back into the bowl. The fritters should be irregular in shape, with
just a light coating of batter. Add to the oil watching that the oil
temperature remains no higher than 340° F. Add a few more fritters to
the pot without crowding and fry for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Use
a slotted spoon to transfer them to the cooling rack and continue frying
in batches. Sprinkle generously with confectioner’s sugar and serve